has been appointed consultant coach of the Sri Lanka men's senior team, as well as the men's Under-19 and the Sri Lanka A teams for a period of one year, starting January 1, 2022. A Sri Lanka Cricket press statement said that the former captain "will be in charge of the overall cricketing element of the national teams" and also provide "strategic support" for players and the management teams at SLC's high-performance centre.
"This is an exciting opportunity to work with the national cricketers and coaches in our various development squads, including the U19 and A teams, to help us do justice to the enormous cricketing talent and potential in Sri Lanka," Jayawardene said in the statement. "I am very passionate about Sri Lankan cricket and believe that with a coordinated and focused team effort, taking a holistic approach working across all age groups, we can achieve consistent success in the future.
"My main role will be supporting our team of national coaches and support staff in terms of our preparation and strategic-thinking during the coming year."
The appointment came following consultations between the SLC's executive committee and technical advisory committee.
Jayawardene had earlier been a part of
the Sri Lanka men's senior team as a consultant for the first round of the T20 World Cup, played in the UAE and Oman in October-November this year. At the time, he had also been signed on as a consultant and mentor for the Under-19 team, which has been preparing for the World Cup in the Caribbean next year.
"Mahela's contributions during the first round of the ICC Men's T20 World Cup became invaluable for the overall performances of our team in the concluded event," Ashley de Silva, SLC CEO said. Both Sri Lanka's players and coaching staff had been complimentary of Jayawardene's involvement during the World Cup, and he is understood to have raised the level of data analysis utilised by the team, in particular.
Essentially, Jayawardene is the first appointment to a national men's side that does not, at present, have a coaching staff, following the departure of Mickey Arthur. It is understood that SLC's technical advisory committee, headed by Aravinda de Silva, is likely to not only appoint a fresh set of coaches, but also make changes to the coaching structure itself. The men's side's next international fixture is not until February 11, when they play T20Is in Australia.
Jayawardene will, however, have to juggle this commitment with two other high-profile coaching gigs - that of Mumbai Indians and Southern Brave head coach, in the IPL and the Hundred competitions respectively.
One of Sri Lanka's greatest batters, Jayawardene is also regarded as one of the best captains Sri Lanka have ever had, and has been renowned for his tactical acumen for decades.